Swishing! Freecycle and other ways to get Free Clothes for yourself and your family.
Placing similar coloured clothes together looks better than mixing them up.
How to get free clothes using freecycle and holding clothes swapping parties.
Times are hard and these days every single penny counts, so why spend more money than you need to on clothes? Why not see if you can get some new (to you) clothes for free.
There are sites out there like swishing.com that allow you to swop clothes on line or, here in the UK, we also have an organisation called Freecycle, it helps people find items they want from the stuff others don't want. It is as simple as that.
On Freecycle you can list just about anything but if you want an easy way to get free clothes and are serious about saving money on your clothing bill then read on.
HOLD A CLOTHES SWAPPING PARTY.
Why not try hosting a clothes swapping party. Why would you want to host a clothes swapping party in the first place? Well, it saves you money, is a great way to recycle, so it helps to save the environment as well and what‘s more it’s fun. It’s also a very good way to find new sports kit for your children, football shirts in particular can be very expensive and with growing children they can get very little wear.
NEED ANOTHER REASON?
It's also a great way to find odd things to make costumes out of as well, great for fancy dress birthday parties and Halloween. You can quite often find school uniform too, if you invite mums from the same school as your children attend. I know that the uniform for the school my girls attended cost a small fortune and the way they grew it needed replacing at least three times a year!
Send out your invitations about two weeks ahead and follow up with a reminder phone call a day or two ahead. Make sure to stress that the clothes should be in reasonably good condition and clean! You can word it quite tactfully. Put in a short explanation about just what happens at a clothes swapping party, it might sound obvious but a little extra information can’t hurt. Try to invite people from a wide age range, it makes for a more interesting party and ensures a variety of fashion styles too.
Who knows, you might end up with a nice collection of vintage clothes that can get a new lease of life from the younger generation. I know that sixties, seventies and eighties clothes are in some demand now with teenagers. Make sure to tell people that they can bring accessories like handbags and scarves as well. You might even want to think about a costume jewellery table but it might be best not to include earrings for pierced ears due to hygiene issues. Sunglasses are another great item to include in a clothes swapping party.
Display things like sunglasses and bags seperately.
Sort out the clothes and display them well.
Try to display the clothes in an attractive manner, sort them into sizes and put them into groups as well - tops, trousers, skirts etc. Think about the clothes stores you have visited and try to copy some of their ideas. Make sure the room you are using is well lit.
You can make a few labels ahead of time so that people can sort out their own clothes as they bring them.
A standing clothes rail is a very good idea, they can be purchased quite cheaply or maybe borrowed from a friend and storage isn’t really a big problem as they fold down into a neat package. I have one that can be stored under a bed when not in use.
These clothes rails come in very handy when ironing or sorting out your wardrobe too. Keep a seperate section for childrens clothes, dividing this into school uniform and non school uniform and in age group order. If you have a lot of baby clothes give them their own table.
Good quality hangers will make the clothes hang well and look more attractive.
OFFER REFRESHMENTS AND A CHANGING ROOM.
When people arrive ask them to put out the clothes they have brought with them and then offer them refreshments. Tea and coffee are fine, or maybe invite people to bring along a bottle of wine. Make it a social event, who knows you might end up with a whole new circle of friends or really get to know some of your neighbours.
Set aside a bedroom or spare room where people can try things on in private, provide a full length mirror if possible. Recycle any plastic bags people bring and be sure to provide a few of your own.
Vintage jeans anyone!
Books about freecycle
USE YOUR PARTY TO FUND RAISE.
Clothes swapping parties are a great way to fund raise too, we held one for our local youth group and made enough money to pay for a coach to take them on a trip to an adventure park. You can charge people a small amount to enter and for their refreshments. You can even hold a raffle, in our case a local business donated a prize for us to raffle which was great.
Whatever you do, you will end up with some free clothes, you will have freecycled some items of clothing and you might even have made a few new friends.